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Opinion: Feminism - The Movement For Women All About Men

Feminism is the advocacy for women’s rights on the basis of equity for sexes and yet

throughout the long history of the women’s rights movement, the narration of men has

echoed in the background.

Today, feminism leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths due to a stigma about how it

aims to propel women above men and provokes hatred towards men. This misconception

has sparked huge debate about the state of modern feminism drawing time and attention

away from the movement’s true goal.

Feminism is most definitely not about hating men, feminists are not rampant ‘man haters’.

What is being misconstrued is the anger that is carried within the movement. The inherent

anger and frustration is not placed upon men but upon the patriarchy itself. The patriarchy

that much of society is built on is a huge source of anger for many feminists as this is exactly

what the movement is fighting against. We are not angry at the male population itself, we are

angry with the men that rape, harass, stereotype and oppress us. Feminists don’t hate men,

they hate misogynistic behaviour.

The ‘Me Too’ movement, while successful in raising awareness of how widespread the issue

of sexual assault and harassment is in our society, created a narrative that it was a

dangerous time for men where they are crippled with fear of being accused of sexual

assault. The reality is simple, 2-5% of all sexual assault allegations are false. This shows

very clearly this is a very small minority and does not account for the huge number of women

coming forward demanding justice for themselves and others. What this false narrative of

false accusations has overlooked is that the education of consent is failing. Young men are

not being left with a comprehensive understanding of consent and therefore engaging in

un-consensual activity without fully understanding it. The feminist movement not only

advocated for justice for victims but the reformation of sex education both in schools and

other areas of society.

Another toxic narrative that clouds over the movement is the idea that feminists go ‘too far’

and want more than men. This is where it is very important to distinguish the difference

between equity and equality. Equality means each individual or group of people is given the

same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different

circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an

equal outcome. Women as the oppressed group, currently have less than men in order to

achieve equality with men they have to be offered more opportunities. This is because men

now and in history have had more than women. In order to close that gap between genders

we have to create avenues where women are able to reach the same level as men.

Finally, a little forgotten fact is that feminism benefits men too. As indicated in its definition, it

is about equality between men and women. At the hands of the patriarchy men suffer too,

and the movement aims to resolve that. For example, the suicide rates for men compared to

women are staggering. This is heavily contributed by the attitude our society has towards

men’s mental health. Expressing emotion is seen as feminine and men are discouraged to

be seen with feminine attributes therefore in an attempt to adhere to the toxic masculine expectations, men are less likely to seek help for their mental health and the consequence of

this is high rates of suicide in men. Similarly, violence against men is often ridiculed rather

than resolved as men are stereotyped to be an invulnerable group and therefore not in need

of help. Feminism aims to remove gender stereotyping for everyone. In a world where being

seen to have feminine qualities isn’t a bad thing, then the pressures for men to be masculine

disappear and a magnitude of issues begin to improve.

Furthermore, it is critical to make note of the definition of oppression because oppression

and suffering are not the same thing. Everyone and anyone can suffer even the most

privileged of people, but not everyone can be oppressed. Systemic oppression can only

follow one direction where there is a group at the top and a group at the bottom.

Ultimately, we are too busy fighting about what being a feminist means that the women’s

movement is coming to a halt. We need to focus on the real goal:

Riding the world of men.

Empowering women.


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